At one time I thought I really liked holidays. Over the years as we have lost family, I realized that what I really liked was the time off to spend with family and friends. Today I give much greater thanks for my family than ever before. I have truly learned what it means to have others you can connect to in heart, mind, and soul. My own journey is one that is unique, as we each are unique. I have been amazingly blessed to have been able to continue to have all of my family as close allies through my entire transition.
I am sure over time you will all hear my full story but on this day of Thanksgiving I want to especially focus on my family. I consider my family to be all of those that I feel near and dear to, both my nuclear family and my family of choice. In my family we are bonded and we are very close. We stick together and although we fight we always stand together against the outside world. I think this is true with my family of choice as well. I am using the family of choice term to identify those to whom I feel a special closeness within my band of friendships.
The friends I have are from many places and are as diverse as the rainbow. I feel very close to my friends at church, they accepted me and saw God’s blessing in me. I also have many friends in the T community, some of which I bonded with very quickly, Michael Brown being a good example. Others are in the L, G, B, or H alphabet soup. I feel blessed to have very close friends that I can depend on who happen to be lesbians, gay or heterosexual (ok some are actually U-unknown). I am very proud to be associated with each and every one of them. I sometimes wish I could feel less like a T and more like a “woman” with them but that is really the fault of society as a whole.
I get up almost every day and think today has to be the day that I just go stealth. Then I get dressed and do it all again being proud of my friends and accepting that they are proud of me for being T. The relationships are mutual but we don’t always agree. Sometimes I think they are too gay and they think I am too T, but always we love each other. I know that I should be more angry or more hurt when gays bash Ts or even worse, just forget us altogether. It just really isn’t in me to strike back because there are so many wonderful gays, lesbians, and others that I proudly call my brothers and sisters! I truly believe that each of those I hold close stand with me, and when we are together the haters do not matter.
I am very thankful for all of my family and friends today, I love all of you. I especially love my partner of 27 years and my 2 children. The boys have now grown into young men and they have been supportive every step of the way. It is actually my eldest son who pulled us all from the closet, and as I tell them now, they all had to transition. I had been transitioning for many years but now it has been their turn. They have transitioned better than could have been imagined, I am thankful for that as well.
In closing I want to share a blog that my son wrote only a day or 2 after meeting Lauryn for the first time. Both of my children got their intelligence and writing skills from their other parent, I am also thankful for that blessing. This short statement expresses what I hope, and believe, much of my family feels, both nuclear and by choice. I am proud to be the T in LGBT because of the love the L, G, and B have shown and that they continue to demonstrate every day. Today, I am blessed and I give Thanks!
Dear T – by Mark Farris
I am writing to you because you have been left behind, because you have been pushed into the wilderness alone. There has been a lot of ground made on the part of the L, G, and B but alone still stands the T. The conservative right, have grown to accept the L, G, and B as mere lost souls. They are lost souls that need to be “saved” by God’s grace to free them from their chains of self identity. The T though is still being accused of having a diagnosable disorder, one that with time and patience can be cured. The Conservatives raise the claim that God created humans as man and woman, forever to be separated as one or the other. They claim that the perfect union of these two sexes comes with marriage and marriage alone.
At one point the slaves of this country were considered to be nothing more than beasts of the field. The African American population with time rose up to meet their oppressor. With time people began to accept them as humans. At one time women were nothing more than domestic robots that were to do as they were told, and leave the rest to men. With time they rose to meet their oppressor. With time the glass ceiling fell away in small pieces here and there. People however came to accept them as humans. At one time homosexuals were viewed as the cause for the AIDS virus. With time it was realized that the AIDS virus was affecting the whole human race. Slowly but surely they were not blamed any more.
It is time for people to realize that the L, G, B, and T are all people. God created man and woman, Genesis 1:27 “in his own image, male and female.” This is the passage quoted by the conservative right. The claim made is that God purposely created men and woman separately to be different from one another. This language is not present here.
God created humankind in his likeness. The use of the pronoun “his” is used as the label given to God by the original translators and writers of the texts. There is no language to suggest what gender God is. God is a being that created human in the likeness of self. Woman and man were created to complete the picture of human kind. Humanity would not be complete without both woman and man. The T, you represent both aspects of humanity. You are the full representation of the image of God. There will come a time when even the T will be accepted, and there will come a time when accepting both genders will not be viewed as a disease but will be viewed as a blessing.
With this blessing I would like to stress, that I am a heterosexual that is in support of this cause of this fight. I will not stand silent any longer. All I ask is that the LGBT people unite not only within themselves but unite with the H, the heterosexual population. We as heterosexuals are not disadvantaged by not being T, we in many cases choose to challenge our gender in different ways. We all must accept our humanity. We all must accept each other as a member of humanity.
We must unite together, with a creator in mind. The road is long, but it is a road that needs to be walked down. I hope to do my best to fight this fight, with the resources and skills that I have. We must not be hung up on the labels of “male,” “female,” “gay,” “straight,” but we should unite together under one label, one soul, humanity. God is not a man or a woman, God is not gay, or straight. God created an identity for all living things. I hope this message finds you well T. With courage you shall rise up and shall break the closet door down. “After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision:”Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” With devotion and hope, Mark Farris.